Two ironic instances occurred in Berlin, OP
If Berlin and Ocean Pines have had one thing in common lately — aside from the shared zip code — it’s the undeniable irony of recent events.
In Ocean Pines, it’s the elevation of board of directors member Rick Farr to Ocean Pines Association secretary, the officer responsible for ensuring that prospective candidates for the board meet all the requirements.
A little more than a year ago, the board secretary at the time disqualified him, leading to an extended lawsuit that the association eventually lost. Now Farr gets to make that call. That’s ironic.
Even more ironic, however, is that county and Ocean City officials have had numerous — and separate — discussions over the past several months about the possibility of establishing a major sports complex in northern Worcester County without once seeking the opinions of other parties that are likely to be affected by it.
This is particularly relevant in Berlin’s instance, which with the proposed purchase of a project site right next door, would become its de facto gateway. Although the purpose of this sports compound is to increase offseason tourism, ostensibly to benefit Ocean City’s commercial interests and the county’s treasury, no community would feel the physical impact of this undertaking as much as Berlin.
Yet, purposely or not, it was excluded from the conversation. Maybe this was nothing more than an oversight on the county’s part, as officials felt the need to concentrate on acquiring the property as quickly as possible for financial and budgetary reasons.
It makes no difference now how or why Berlin wasn’t given a seat next to the campfire months ago. What happens next is the critical issue for the town and the surrounding area. Amends must be made, and it’s time for these separate conversations to end.
All communities must be brought on board to see what each is willing to do and is willing to accept. Otherwise, this is just an idea destined to get lost in a cacophony of disconnected discussions.